Each weekend my friend and volunteer Bob Engle and I search for a new subject matter to employ in the Tuesday Compass program. The first hour is intended to include topical news items, local history, stories from the past that triggers memories, jokes, riddles, poetry, trivia, music and associated trivia. Above all else, we try to make people laugh, have fun, engage with others and ultimately have the “best possible brain day.” This last weekend I was pondering the news cycle desperately searching for a “good news” story. You know how hard that is sometimes, even with a 24-hour news cycle! It was then that I discovered that there is a “Good News Network”! Ah! The power of Google.
From this network I introduced a couple of great stories to our participants including one about two sisters who have just met for the first time in 70 years (they were each given to the wrong parents by a hospital back in 1945), and then another lovely story about some kids who found a wallet with $700, and did the right thing by returning it to the owner.
Kids do make a difference at Memory Matters. We welcome groups of young adults from local churches, as well as those visiting from afar. To witness the interaction between the kids and our participants is very special. The level of engagement is remarkable and the smiles on the faces appear to remain longer than usual. The kids “get it” and I have often remarked we probably do not give them the credit which they deserve for their perception, understanding, engagement, and empathy.
Two weeks ago my 11-year-old Grandson entertained everyone by answering questions in a Harry Potter quiz. It wasn’t his almost perfect answers to magical tongue twister questions that created a fun atmosphere, it was his laughter and excitement and irrepressible manner. Just like his 9-year-old sister who similarly entertained last week and danced and sang mightily. One of our Staff asked her to write a short note on “why she enjoys being at Memory Matters.” Here is what she said:
My friend John Ratliff’s now 14-year-old daughter Amélie plays the violin and she is a star volunteer. Are there any other young musicians locally who would like to share their talent?
And talk of poems, and prayers and promises and things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday, what about tomorrow?
And what about our dreams and all the memories we share? John Denver
Both Bob Engle and I bring our Grandkids to Memory Matters whenever we can. If you the reader know of any kids who you believe would benefit from such a great community service opportunity, please do call us and speak to Program Director Maureen Gleason at (843) 842-6688.